Testing the Usability of Two Online Research Guides

Luigina Vileno, Subject Librarian for Applied Human Sciences and Psychology at Concordia University has published an article in the most recent issue of Partnership: the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research titled Testing the Usability of Two Online Research Guides. The article discusses a study that surveyed the use of academic subject guides to ultimately determine whether they are usable, how to improve them, and whether they are worth the effort.

“This article describes usability testing of two online research guides. One guide was in the area of applied human sciences and the other was geared toward the discipline of psychology. Six undergraduate students were given several tasks to complete by using the guides. The participants also completed two questionnaires. One described the participants’ demographics and how much time they spent on the Internet on a daily basis. On the other questionnaire, filled out after the usability test, the participants rated the online research guides. Overall, the online research guides were found to be difficult to use. By observing how the participants interacted with the online research guides, the author has identified several problem areas that need to be addressed.”

via Current Cites